The link between SEO and content is strong. You can’t have successful SEO without content. And it’s hard to produce good content without SEO.
Not everyone understands the important relationship between SEO and content. The overall purpose of SEO and content is:
- Drive the right traffic to the site, i.e. the right visitors for what you want to achieve with the site.
Then there are several secondary purposes and effects of SEO and content:
- Create a good basis for advertising on Google.
- Create good content for social media.
- Create good content for newsletters.
The link between SEO and content – the basics
Search engine optimization – SEO for short – is the process of ranking as high as possible on Google without paying for it. In technical terms, it is called organic traffic (to the site). There are strong commercial reasons to invest heavily in this. Statistics show that the first three organic search results receive over 50% of all search traffic.
The link between SEO and content – a metaphor
Google’s secret algorithm consists of over 200 components, but can be divided into three main categories:
- Technical SEO
- Editorial content (content).
- External links
I have my own metaphor for the relationship between SEO and content:
Imagine a nice and good house, built on a solid foundation and well maintained inside and out. Inside the house, the lights are shining in a warm glow, you can see that the house is tastefully furnished and the family living there seems to be genuinely nice and cozy as they live their lives. Outside the house, people walk by, they stop, look in the window from the sidewalk, see the people having a good time inside and say: “What a nice house with nice people, I want to be there too…”.
How search engine optimization for Google works.
- The quality of the house is the technical part of SEO.
- The furniture, the warm glow and the people who live inside are the content produced on the site.
- The people who stand outside and look in and like what they see are the external links (backlinks) to your site.
This. is. so. fundamentally.
It is content that makes a site seen.
A well-built house without furniture and heating is often called impersonal. Nice furniture, warm light and nice people are always good, but it gets better in a good house. It is the combination of a nice house and warm personality that makes others take note and refer to the house.
In other words: a good technical site is nothing more than a good technical site. With thoughtful and good content on the site (the furniture), the empty technical site suddenly becomes full of life. Other people can then discover the well-built site with good content and link to it.
This is what the relationship between SEO and content looks like in theory.
“If you create content without the search string analysis as a basis, you won’t generate much traffic of the kind you want. And besides, what will people link to if you don’t create good content?”
The link between SEO and content in practice
The relationship between SEO and content is part of a digital strategy. The key elements of the SEO and content plan are:
- Search string analysis – these are the keywords we should focus on to achieve maximum impact given our business objectives and the competitive situation for the keyword.
- The content plan (editorial content plan) – how will the keywords become good content? Should it be a blog post, a podcast, a movie or something else?
- Using the power of stories – how long people consume the content is an important ranking factor. Stories are scientifically proven to engage the recipient better. Synchronize your message with your company’s brand story (if your company doesn’t have one, click here).
- Publish the content in the right way. This is fundamental for Google’s search spiders to find your content. You can read more about how to do this here.
The search string analysis foundation at work
Nine times out of ten, an SEO expert is a digitally savvy person who systematically works to optimize the technical performance of the website. It often, if not always, also includes a Google search string analysis, i.e. an investigation into what people are searching for on Google.
This is, of course, important. It is part of the operational basics. But this is not enough. Rarely is an SEO expert a content person, who understands how to create great content, whether text or video.
The two primary purposes of the search string analysis
The search string analysis by the SEO expert has two primary uses:
- Create a basis to create good content around.
- Create a basis for advertising on Google.
It takes time to achieve results with SEO and content alone. Therefore, you should also advertise on Google for best effect (more than that below).
The content plan at the heart of everything
Once you have the search string analysis, the creative process of creating great content based on the keywords begins. Here, of course, the budget is very important. In simple terms, the correlation between input and output is fairly linear. The more good content produced, the better the ranking.
How often should content be produced? What should be the type of content? What channels should it be published and disseminated on besides the website?
To make good decisions around the content budget, it is important to have hard facts about the impact of the industry and what the trends are.
Why produce content?
You produce content to attract the right visitors to your site. But – and this is almost more important – you also produce content for others to link to your site. What willpeople link to if you don’t create good content?
It is by creating outstanding content for search strings that people are looking for that you generate the right traffic and links from others. This, in turn, leads to better ranking on Google, which in turn leads to more traffic. The positive spiral is in action…
“It is by creating outstanding content for search strings that people are looking for that you generate the right traffic and links from others”.
The challenge of the link between SEO and content and Google rankings
The biggest challenge of working with editorial content is that it takes time to appear in Google’s search results. Start working systematically now and you might see results in six months, a year, or even 18 months.
Therefore, a combination of organic traffic and advertising is necessary if you don’t really have the organic ranking you want (which you definitely won’t have in the beginning). It can start generating traffic just a few minutes after you publish the ad.
But you should never, ever compromise the systematic production of editorial content if you want to achieve good organic search results on Google. There are quite extensive statistics that say that we consumers do click on advertised (sponsored) links, but not nearly as much as organic links.
SEO and content bring organic traffic for free for many years
We’ve saved the biggest benefit of the link between SEO and content for last. Well-produced content published in the right way ( read more about how to do it here) against a good keyword will deliver hits for years in the organic search results on Google. Without you having to do anything.
I first wrote this text in 2018. I basically haven’t touched it since then. Last month I had 331 views on Google and a few people clicked on the page. For a job I did five years ago!
SEO and content should be booked as investments – not costs.
Realize how many thousands of views there have been over the years on Google without me having to do anything. Some have actually become customers through first contact on this site.
This is why editorial content should be booked as an investment to be amortized over several years instead of a cost.
But that is a different story.
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